Hospitaler Sister of Mercy (1861-1945)
+ Santina Cimatti was born in Celle, Italy. Two of her brothers entered the Salesians of Saint John Bosco. Following the death of their father, Santina helped her mother educate the young boys in the family, despite her own desire to enter religious life.
+ Santina fulfilled her dream of becoming a sister in 1899, joining the Hospitaler Sisters of Mercy, receiving the religious name Maria Raffaella.
+ After professing religious vows, she studied nursing and trained as a pharmacist. She served in several of her community’s hospitals and as a leader of her community. She later requested to be relieved of administrative responsibilities to devote herself solely to the care of the sisters, the sick, nursing students, and the hospital staffs.
+ Although she was diagnosed with a fatal disease in 1943, she volunteered to serve wounded soldiers during the Second World War. She personally interceded with the general of German forces occupying the Italian city of Alatri, helping save the city from a planned bombing attack.
+ Blessed Maria Raffaella died on June 23, 1945, and was beatified in 1996.
O God, who called blessed Maria Raffaella to seek your Kingdom in this world through the pursuit of perfect charity, grant, we pray, through his (her) intercession that we may advance with joyful spirit along the way of love. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(from The Roman Missal: Common of Holy Men and Women—For Religious)
Saint profiles prepared by Brother Silas Henderson, S.D.S.